[i cannot verify this; it is from an article in scientific american mind, on genius. but i liked it, so here it is.]
I look at the list and see designers. Maurice Lim Miller designing social services, and Benoît Rolland, designing bows for stringed instruments.
This brings up the greater question of who or what is a designer, something fraught with tension in the past few years. In most cases, one who could be called a designer has no formal requirements to attain this title, there is no test to pass, no board exams, no education, even, required.
Why do we even care who calls themselves a designer? The title is ubiquitious, self-applied, and, in many cases, meaningless. Before there were designers, there were engineers, philosophers, and artists. Somewhere in the past few years, in particular, being a designer was a self-designated title that signaled creativity, innovation, and a style and type of work.
Designers can be classified in so many fields, from architects to typographers, to software designers, fashion designers, interior designers, to graphic designers. In the industry I sometimes work in, software design, the ‘designer’ is often a graphic designer, and in a world where experience and interaction are so very important, this is often the designer thought of as ‘making it pretty’ at the end of the process rather than the crucial keystone player.
I remember my father telling me of his 20s, designing rockets and moon mission things, there were no designers. They worked in groups of engineers, and each to his own skills, to produce the products and code that made these dreams possible. The end result was something we, today, would consider designed. Yet, no designers.
Today, it often seems we care more to know who is a designer, and what is design, the emergence of design thinking, differentiated, by designers and pundits, as crucially different than the thinking of engineers and architects, as two examples, that the conversations were just that. A great deal of talking and discussing with less and less output.
Designers may well not be necessary, as a title. What matters is the output, the work, the vision, the dream. The group of 2012 fellows can call themselves what they may, and there may be backlash, but I’d argue that the inclusion of a ‘traditional’ designer does no value in and of itself.
To an industry struggling to understand what it is, design would be best served to produce amazing products and services and worry less about titles. Then and only then will representation of ‘genius’ be seen in a broader sense.
“Lengthy articles are very time intensive and attention intensive, and they are tough to consume on the phone.”
“Once you start to think of news as happening in these ‘atomic units,’ rather than as things that need to be wrapped up and shipped in an article, you can start to do different and unique things such as let people “follow” a story, provide different context based on what a reader has consumed before, bridge from one point to a story that provides background, and so on.”
My first thought was: I am happy I will be dead by the time this diminished thought world holds the majority of the people. Yes, a bit extreme, but it’s my mind and it does these things.
I wonder, though, as a CEO, or an entrepreneur, this is the world you want to live in? this is who you want to become?
I wish CEOs and other product and service creators would think less about the money and more about the future of the world. What world they want to live in, and what world they want their children to live in.
Nations will know, that they cannot become conquerors without losing their freedom; that perpetual confederations are the only means of maintaining their independance; that their object should be security, and not power. By degrees commercial prejudices will die away; a false mercantile interest will lose the terrible power of imbuing the earth with blood, and of ruining nations under the idea of enriching them. As the people of different countries will at last be drawn into closer intimacy, by the principles of politics and morality, as each, for its own advantage, will invite foreigners to an equal participation of the benefits which it may have derived either from nature or its own industry, all the causes which produce, envenom, and perpetuate national animosities, will one by one disappear, and will no more furnish to warlike insanity either fuel or pretext.
—Marquis de Condorcet, 1794, Outlines of an historical view of the progress of the human mind
In the disastrous epoch at which we are now arrived, we shall see the human mind rapidly descending from the height to which it had raised itself, while Ignorance marches in triumph, carrying with her, in one place, barbarian ferocity; in another, a more refined and accomplished cruelty; every where, corruption and perfidy. A glimmering of talents, some faint sparks of greatness or benevolence of soul, will, with difficulty, be discerned amidst the universal darkness. Theological reveries, superstitious delusions, are become the sole genius of man, religious intolerance his only morality; and Europe, crushed between sacerdotal tyranny and military despotism, awaits, in blood and in tears, the moment when the revival of light shall restore it to liberty, to humanity, and to virtue.
Marquis de Condorcet, 1794, Outlines of an historical view of the progress of the human mind
[he ends with the tenth epoch, the future progress of mankind, so the sixth was long past, in his era]
” Translation is the art of revelation. It makes the unknown known. The translator artist has the fever and craft to recognize, re-create, and reveal the work of the other artist.”
[Willis Barnstone, The Poetics of Translation]
I ran into this today, and it reminds me again why I would like to have a translator tag system for twitter. People are endlessly posting short quotes, so many are in translation. While the sentiment is the original author’s, the secondary art belongs to the translator, who should be noted. Translation is hard, to translate sentiment, structure, meter, and all the other elements, I believe great translators have an ability to translate the soul of the original artist. They should be recognized.
—Lawrence Durrell, Balthazar (1958)
On the radio, the insurance company promises to exceed my expectations. Yes, I think, because my expectations are now so low, you can offer to exceed them.
I’d prefer a return to customer service that treated us as we wished to be treated, like intelligent human beings. Like people, not data, numbers, dollars or other measurements.
Exceeding expectations should be rare, unusual, and unnecessary. Not the newly promised norm. It is not a good thing, to promise me this, it is the ungiven acknowledgement, the unoffered apology, for just how miserably you treat the people that pass through your business.
NPR is doing a report on preventing suicide in soldiers. the context of the program seems to be ways in which to identify soldiers on the brink, and how to draw them back.
interestingly, there is no discussion about the things that would drive a soldier to suicide and how one might change those these.
just about the last mile. seems a bit of a band-aid solution.